Expect Kentucky legislative leaders’ future attempts to lower income tax rates or rid Kentucky of this punitive approach to taxation altogether to be met with resuscitated arguments spouted by the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy (KCEP), a left-wing political advocacy group, blaming former Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s reform agenda of reducing the Sunflower State’s income rates, expanding standard deductions and exempting non-wage pass-through income for a precipitous drop in forecast-ed revenues.
Is that really what happened?
Here’s an analysis by Laffer Associates providing “the rest of the [Kansas] story” (H/T: the late, great commentator Paul Harvey) which addresses false and lazy claims made by KCEP, including:
Ideas like lowering income tax rates for high earners and corporations, providing new tax breaks for profitable industries and repealing the inheritance tax would leave us with an even more upside-down tax system (one that asks the least of those with the most and vice versa) and with less to invest in the things we all need to thrive.
In 2012, Kansas lawmakers passed a tax overhaul bill that, along with other changes since then, has sharply reduced the state’s income tax revenue.
In light of Kansas’ lackluster economic performance and revenue growth since 2012, it seems that rather than stimulating entrepreneurial activity, the pass-through exemption has encouraged tax avoidance.
Though trickle-down economics would suggest such cuts at the top eventually pay for themselves by stimulating the economy, Kansas is doing poorly.
Again, click here to read the analysis about what really happened in the land of Superman, Wyatt Earp and Dorothy.
By the way, there’s been no acknowledgement from KCEP in recent years about how Brownback was reelected to a second term and how his state has improved in several economic categories, including the health and stability of its public-pension system, which was ranked second-worst in the nation when the Republican began his first term.
Laura Kelly took back the Kansas governor’s office for Democrats last November with the help of disgruntled establishment Republicans who opposed Brownback’s bold economic agenda and got booted from office while he was getting reelected in 2014. So now, there’s a Democratic governor with a Republicans comprising a supermajority in a state beginning with “K.” Where else has this happened?